What’s the most efficient way to have a client to describe their brand personality?

When working for clients, it’s important to understand what brand personality they want to convey in their designs.

  • Do they want fun, young, and energetic designs?
  • How about a rough, masculine, outdoorsy aesthetic?
  • Maybe they want something that looks conventional, serious, and trusted?

For designers, thinking and talking this way comes naturally. For clients, not so much. Many small businesses never even consider it until a designer asks.

I’m trying to figure out an efficient way of getting this information out of the client.

It needs to be something I can ask inside an app, instead of having a long drawn out face-to-face conversation.

It also needs to be quick and easy for the client to do, but convey sufficient information to the designer at the same time. The designer will be relying on this as as guide when creating things like social media posts, blog post images, etc.

Some initial ideas:

1) Ask the client to choose one brand archetype from Aaker’s Brand Personality Dimension Framework:

  • Excitement: carefree, spirited, and youthful
  • Sincerity: kindness, thoughtfulness, and an orientation toward family values
  • Ruggedness: rough, tough, outdoorsy, and athletic
  • Competence: successful, accomplished and influential, highlighted by leadership
  • Sophistication: elegant, prestigious, and sometimes even pretentious

2) Ask the client to describe their brand in five words or less (perhaps from a list of 20-30 suggested adjectives). For example:

  • Smart. Sophisticated. Successful. Elegant. Respected.
  • Eco-Friendly. Protected. Aware. Intelligent. Relaxed.

3) Use brand personality sliders. Ask the client to indicate where their brand lands on these spectrums:

            [Friend] <-----|-----> [Authority]

[Young & Innovative] <-----|-----> [Mature & Classic]

           [Playful] <-----|-----> [Serious]

       [Mass Appeal] <-----|-----> [Elite]

      [Conventional] <-----|-----> [Rebel]

Do you have any ideas or advice? What have you found works best?


30-minute conversation is your best bet. No system that is quick and easy for a client will match realtime conversation in providing the nuances that help the designer understand the client’s expectations. What is extravagant to one person may be vanilla to another, and what is sophisticated to one person may be low-brow to another.

You may get what you’re looking for if you combine two different approaches, but it will be a lot of work. For example, provide three visual pieces (logos, compositions, photos, etc) and ask the client to describe each using only five words from a provided list. Then you’ll have a better idea of what the client means they say they want a brand image that would be contradictory in one fixed system, such as ‘young, mature and elite with a mass appeal’ if we use your sliders example.

Source : Link , Question Author : Ben Turner , Answer Author : Splambo

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